Georgina Adam, the doyenne of art market reporters, gives a comprehensive overview of the Abu Dhabi Art Fair in the Financial Times:
Christie’s owner François Pinault, artist Jeff Koons and Louvre museum director Henri Loyrette were just a few of the art world movers and shakers who flew into Abu Dhabi this week for the launch of Abu Dhabi Art. The event, a “cultural platform” including an art fair, was put together at breakneck speed this summer by the Emirati authorities and continues until tomorrow. The fair counts just 50 dealers but includes heavyweights such as Gagosian, White Cube, Hauser & Wirth, L&M Arts, PaceWildenstein and Thaddaeus Ropac; for many, the prospect of selling art into museums on the multibillion-dollar Saadiyat Island project acted as a powerful magnet.
Compared with the previous, French-organised event, the new fair represents a quantum leap, with a stellar patrons’ committee including Pinault, Koons and architect Norman Foster; the quality – and value – of the art on offer have also leapt upwards. […]
For most of the exhibitors, being in Abu Dhabi this week is more about the future than the present. The acquisition committee for the Guggenheim museum is still being put together, although the museum is showing a “teaser” group of paintings – Mondrian, Jasper Johns, Kandinsky and Malevich – from its collection in the hotel. But even if the galleries at the fair don’t make many sales this week, “those who are exhibiting now will be in the front row when the museums do start buying,” said the Paris dealer Patrice Trigano.
The Art Market: Abu Dhabi’s New Fair (Financial Times)